Magnetic resonance imaging is the most reliable and sensitive technique for diagnosing and monitoring neurodegenerative diseases. By the images obtained, we are able to make a whole anatomical evaluation of the brain and detect atrophy in particular regions. However, the inspection of the images is normally visible, which implies that certain indicators of neurodegeneration, invisible to the human eye, aren’t detected until the injury is already superior.
Dr. Estela Cámara from Bellvitge Biomedical Research Institute (IDIBELL) and Psychology College and the Neuroscience Institute of the University of Barcelona (UBNeuro), along with Alicia Palomar, has designed a computer program that enables the quantitative analysis of magnetic resonance images simply, rapidly, and adaptable. This program, referred to as SeSBAT (Single Subject Brain Analysis Toolbox), integrates totally different image analysis protocols that may measure the volume of particular regions of the brain or carry out a common exploration of it, having the ability to detect small modifications, invisible to the eye, however that could predict the risk of creating a degenerative disease.
SeSBAT opens the door to the identification of the latest biomarkers that will help to enhance the early detection and monitoring of neurodegenerative diseases. Since it’s a quantitative analysis, it is able to figure out anatomical modifications of the brain that happen before the appearance of symptoms.
With this kind of built-in analysis, the information may be extracted from a single particular person, avoiding the inter-individual variability of working with teams. This enables the individualized monitoring of a patient over time, which might be very helpful to find out the efficacy of certain medication in clinical trials or to observe people at risk of developing a neurodegenerative disease.
Dr. Cámara’s group has examined the accuracy of this new device in magnetic resonance imaging of patients with Huntington’s neurodegenerative disease. The results, revealed in the journal Frontiers in Systems Neuroscience, present how this device is ready to establish those patients who’re in the early stages of the illness and even those that haven’t but presented the primary symptoms.
Dr. Cámara states that it’s a very versatile program that might be adapted and personalized for each type of neurodegenerative disease or project. The Cámara’s group opens the doorways to new collaborations with groups interested by applying this technology to their initiatives. Similarly, a device like this might simply be applied to routine clinical practice, permitting a lot deeper analysis of MRI images and more correct management of patients with neurodegenerative diseases.